Bob Swisher: We bid farewell to 2013
As 2013 fades away, it gives cause to look back at the ups and downs of the past year:
— Three of our friends and pillars in the local antiques and preservations community passed on. Harry Querry, Mark Chenail and Lucy Gray all left their mark on the history of old stuff in the twin cities. You just cannot replace the time and effort these three people gave to our community.
— We visited Fairbury for the first time ever this year and were really impressed by the Fairbury Antique Shoppe.
— The Assembly Hall turned 50, and before the year was over, its name changed to State Farm Center.
— The old McKinley Y on Church Street had a grand reopening of sorts. No longer a YMCA, it is now a new choice for health and fitness in the area.
— Timeless Treasures, a new antique store with multiple dealers, opened in Savoy. It shows lots of promise and should be a good addition to the area antique scene.
— We made a trip to Denver and back and visited a lot of out-of-the-way spots. First and foremost of our visits was to Cooper's Antiques in Republic, Mo. There was a feast on extra fine antique furniture. It is certainly in the top three sites for real good old furniture.
— Pavers will again be available at the Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County starting in May or June. The city of Champaign and PACA have agreed to dispose of pavers to be removed from Healey Street between Fourth and Sixth streets in the campus area (pending final approval from the city council).
— Other big news from a preservation standpoint: The owner of the Black Dog Smoke and Ale House in Urbana signed a lease to open a new branch in Champaign in the long-vacant railway express building just north of the old train station on Chestnut Street.
— Rich Cahill and I met with University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise this fall in an attempt to improve relations between UI Facilities and Services and Central Management Services of the state. We left the meeting with positive vibes, and rumors persist that all that is missing now is written approval for PACA to resume salvage efforts on campus.
— The Solon House continues its slow progress to complete restoration, and the PACA warehouse is bursting at the seams with salvage items. Give them a visit.
Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.